On a night when San Francisco Giants pitcher Yusemeiro Petit went the distance on just 89 pitches, the kid from my part of New York went five of five bringing his season batting average to .327.
Giants rookie second baseman Joe Panik is playing big league baseball as he continues to add the pop the Giants have been craving at second base. Because Panik attended John Jay High School in East Fishkill, NY, a rival sports school of mine growing up, I find it exhilarating to root for the youngster.
Though the area has had a small share of athletes who've made it big, John Jay Joe has to be the most modern and probably the most green of Hudson Valley alumni to see his name in the bright lights of a major league lineup. Major League slugger Josh Hamilton helped lead the Hudson Valley Renegades, a local Tampa Bay Rays minor league team, to their first New York Penn-League championship in 1999, but Josh didn't attend high school in the area.
It appears that the local newspapers, the Poughkeepsie Journal and Newburgh's Record, are also keeping their eyes on the progress of Joe's young major league career. Its what small towns have done in years past and continue to do today; make heroes out of their native sons. As of now, John Jay Joe is sniffing hero status in the city by the bay as he and the San Francisco Giants are in the final month of a pennant race.
Tonight the Giants won 5-1 over the Arizona Diamondbacks, while division leading rival Los Angeles Dodgers lost 6-3 to the San Diego Padres. Dodgers lead is now 2.5 games over the Giants. This is the time for guys named Joe. Go get'em Joe!